Vince Cable has said that the government is quietly discussing a People’s Vote behind closed doors.
Speaking at a launch event for the Liberal Democrats’ EU election posters, the leader said that after maximising the Remain vote in the EU elections, he wants to secure a second referendum.
“I think we are quite close to that,” he said.
“It is clear the government are discussing this matter privately, and then we hope to win it.
“Once we’ve won it and we get back to British domestic politics, we would like to re-establish the Lib Dems as a major political force.”
At the event, Cable warned Labour that their voters are “disenchanted” by Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit stance in the EU elections.
He said the Lib Dems are “making it absolutely clear that Labour need to get off the fence”.
Labour’s attempt to negotiate a last-minute “stitch-up” with the government goes against the majority of their MPs, supporters and members, he said.
“That will mean the Liberal Democrats will take up the natural home of the many people who are now thoroughly disillusioned and disaffected with the Labour leadership,” he said.
After last week’s council elections, in which the Lib Dems gained 676 new council seats, Labour lost 63 and the Tories lost 1,269, he said the results are “unambiguous”.
READ: Greens and Lib Dems are the big winners from local electionsThe Lib Dems are the lead Remain party, he said.
“My main priority here is to get Labour voters who are rightfully disenchanted with Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit, to get behind us in the European elections,” he said. “That’s the objective.”
He said he expects to see strong results in London.
As well as the party’s unambiguous anti-Brexit stance, Cable said the party has demonstrated its strengths in local government.